The Paris Court will hear a lawsuit filed by the French government against Apple in September, alleging that the US tech giant engages in abusive commercial tactics against entrepreneurs.
The complaint, launched in 2018 in the name of Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire by France’s competition and anti-fraud agency, wants an end to the activities as well as a fine of 2 million euros.
The action comes after a three-year investigation by the competition and anti-fraud agency, as well as a recent complaint by France Digital, a French internet startup association.
According to the source, a trial date has been set for September 17 at the Paris Commercial Court.
When contacted by AFP, the competition and anti-fraud office would only confirm that legal actions are underway.
In 2018, Le Maire protested that digital giants Apple and Google were dictating rates to French startups selling their apps to them and unilaterally changing contracts.
Brien told AFP, “Either Apple is found guilty of breaking the law, or Apple slips through the loopholes, and we’ve proven that present rules don’t allow us to govern systemic platforms.”
Such a decision would be a huge help to efforts to give the Digital Markets Act some teeth.
With the Digital Markets Act and a companion bill, the Digital Services Act, the EU is actively revising the rules of the game for internet companies.
The idea is to create unique restrictions for systemic platforms, or gatekeepers, in order to protect consumers, businesses, and future competitors from their market dominance.
Apple’s contractual requirements for software developers to reach customers through the AppStore, according to Brien, are skewed in Apple’s favour.